As the name suggests, beam clamps are tools that latch onto and hold tight to beams (like structural steel beams) in order to lift, rig, or support them for various applications. They can be a handy way to connect parts and pieces in cases when drilling or welding the materials would damage or otherwise alter their integrity, or when you don’t have the time, equipment, or proper engineering analysis to effectively drill or weld. They can also be used to create joints between beams or attach conduits, pipes, flooring, and roofing materials to beams on a permanent or temporary basis. Another common use for beam clamps is to install plumbing or electric lines to girders or beams. While they’re not common devices found in the average homeowner’s toolbox, if you’re a professional contractor or anyone else who works on big industrial projects, a beam clamp is nonetheless a useful tool to have on hand.
Choosing a Beam Clamp
Here’s what you should look into before buying a beam clamp:
- Size: The main consideration in buying a beam clamp is its size. Different beam clamps have jaws that will open smaller or wider than others, so make sure you know the size of the beams or piping you’ll be working with and buy a beam clamp that will fit them. The clamps also vary in size and thickness, which may be a factor if you’re working with smaller materials.
- Type: There are two main types of these devices, screw set beam clamps and spring steel beam clamps. The main difference between the two is that screw set clamps are designed to be tightened by hand, while spring steel clamps are hammered into a secure connection with the beam. Some screw set beam clamps may also have a locknut, which helps prevent loosening. You may also find a beam clamp that is geared toward a specific component or type, like one designed for roofing panels or threaded rods.
- Material: Almost every beam clamp will be made of some type of metal, either one type or some combination of several alloys. You’ll want to opt for the more durable metals like stainless steel or cast iron since beam clamps are heavy-duty tools. Aluminum is another good option if you want a lighter, more portable tool that is still strong.
- Weight Capacity: You’ll want to make sure your beam clamp is compatible with the weight of the load you’ll need it to support, lift, or rig. There are plenty of options that can support several tons at once, but not all will. Be sure to check the weight capacity of a beam clamp before you buy it.
Best for Heavy Loads: BestEquip Beam Clamp
Whether you’re working at a port or railway, a factory or mine, or any other industrial or construction site, this heavy-duty beam clamp will suit any lifting or lowering need you may have. Made of strong steel and coated with a safety powder for added durability and surface protection, this beam clamp will hold up against anything you can throw at it. It’s also anti-corrosion and anti-rust. Whether you use it indoors or outdoors, even in the harshest weather conditions, this beam clamp can withstand the elements for long-term usage. The jaws can open anywhere between 3 and 13 inches and support up to 11,000 pounds (5.5 tons) of weight at once, enough to haul any load you might need. The jaws are also easy to adjust. All you have to do is manually rotate the screw shaft counterclockwise to loosen or clockwise to tighten. The five built-in attachment points give the device added stability and safety, as does the spindle with grooves, which can be secured to prevent your load from coming loose and keeps the lifting position in the middle of the load to keep it from shaking during use. It’s also available in a smaller size that can support 2,000 pounds (1 ton).
BestEquip Beam Clamp 11000lbs/5ton Capacity I Beam Lifting Clamp 3Inch-13Inch Opening Range Beam Clamps for Rigging Heavy Duty Steel Beam Clamp Tool Beam Hangers for Lifting Rigging in Yellow
A heavy-duty steel beam clamp that can support up to 11,000 pounds (5.5 tons) at once.
Best for Budget: ICS Industries 3/8″ ROD BEAM CLAMP
Some beam clamps can run on the pricier side, so if you’re looking for a sturdy and reliable option, but you’re on a limited budget, this beam clamp may be the perfect solution. Made of iron designed to be malleable and finished in black, this tool will provide strength and flexibility in equal measure. Like all beam clamps, it clamps onto steel beams with ease. This particular model is designed to be used with a threaded rod. The threaded hole at the rear edge can fit any threaded rod up to 3/8 inches thick so that a pipe hanger can be wound on to the opposite end of the rod. This beam clamp is compatible with just about any type of pipe hanger for your working convenience. The jaws open to a maximum of 3/4 inches.
ICS Industries - 3/8" ROD BEAM CLAMP (3/4" MAX OPENING) 10 PACK
A beam clamp made of malleable, black-finished iron that is designed for use with a threaded rod.
Best for Small Beams: Hubbell-Raco 2524 Beam Clamp
If you’re going to be working with smaller beams or piping or flooring, maybe a big, bulky beam clamp that can lift literal tons of weight isn’t going to do the trick for you. Maybe their jaws don’t close to a small enough size, or maybe they’re too heavy or not portable enough for your purposes. That’s where the Hubbell-Raco 2524 beam clamp comes in handy. Only an inch high and weighing in at less than a pound, this silvery beam clamp is perfect for beams with a smaller circumference. Don’t let its diminutive size fool you, though. The tool’s construction of rugged steel and malleable iron means this beam clamp has plenty of strength. It is also electroplated with zinc for additional durability to help prevent corrosion over time. It offers a lifting and lowering capacity of 60 pounds. You can use this beam clamp in conjunction with drop rods, hangers, and bridle rings to support conduit I-beams. Its electrical application means it’s great for wiring as well.
Hubbell-Raco 2524 Beam Clamp, Malleable Iron, 1 in. Trade Size, 27/32 in. Inside Opening (Pack of 100)
A small but powerful beam clamp perfect for beams, pipes, and wiring that are too small for an average beam clamp's jaws.
Also Consider: V-Lift Industrial Beam Clamp
This is a convenient and hard-wearing beam clamp that will look right at home in on any construction or industrial site. It’s made of solid, durable steel for maximum toughness and sturdiness, with a painted yellow finish to blend in with any tools that might be used in tandem. The jaws open as small as 3.25 inches and as wide as 12.5 inches, so it can accommodate any beam within that size range. This beam clamp’s weight capacity maxes out at 6,600 lbs (3.3 tons), able to lift loads many times its own size. The locking screw mechanism will keep the beams in a tight grip while also providing you with easy and swift adjustability, as it permits you a quick interchange from one gantry to another. A hoist hook attachment point is also built-in for your convenience.
V-Lift Industrial I-Beam Clamp Choose Weight Capacity/Beam Size 1, 2, 3, 5 or 10-Ton (3-Ton, 6,600 lb, 3.25"-12.5" Beam Size)
A beam clamp made of solid, durable steel with a painted finish that will look right at home on any construction or industrial site.